Saturday, September 30, 2017

free day.

Yesterday I gave my 4th, 5th and 6th grade students "free day" which means they get to make what they want. It is their favorite thing. They have plenty of ideas of their own, and love to saw wood, use nails and glue and put things back together in new configurations from their own imaginations.

Free day for me is rather chaotic, with my name being called out constantly. "Mr. Doug," they say, "can you help me with this?" Or, "Mr. Doug, do you have a piece of wood, this big?"

The work that results is not of the finest sort that will be kept in museums, but is taken home with great pride. Our student work serves as evidence of creativity and engagement. These are real problem solving exercises of their own making, and while research reveals a marked decline in creativity among children as they age past kindergarten, creativity and creative engagement are intellectual components that require nourishment in a healthy society.

I have been finishing boxes as shown. After putting linings in these, I'll turn my attention to finishing some tiny bentwood boxes I hope to sell.

Make, fix, create, and insist that others learn lifewise.


  1. Free day ought to be practiced much more in schools all over the world.
    Most children will engage a lot more eagerly if it is a project of their own imagination.
    Watching them as they see their own creation grow is rewarding.
    Have a nice weekend

  2. So if engagement and creativity is encouraged in children at a young age, creativity should then survive even the dull schooling that might follow, right? At least we can hope so.


  3. Yes, we can hope so...